Down The Wings

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5 Things: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United Analysis

Rashford goal vs Crystal Palace

Manchester United travelled to Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side that had lost their last 5 games. Manchester United took the lead right before halftime, despite a good start to the game by Crystal Palace. VAR ruled out an Ayew equaliser at the start of the second half, before Martial scored United’s second and wrapped up the victory for the Reds, who bounce back from that frustrating draw with Crystal Palace.

Here’s the 5 points for analysis!

1. Unbeaten run continues!

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Manchester United’s win over Palace extended their unbeaten run to 19 games! United’s unbeaten run started with their 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere in the FA cup at a time where many were calling for Solskjaer to be sacked. However, United’s board have stuck with the Norwegian and he has conducted this remarkable turn around in form, as United have gained confidence and turned into real Champions League contenders. The excellent signing of Bruno Fernandes has been key, and the Portuguese midfielder has 7 goals and 7 assists in the premier league alone. The run includes two very impressive victories over rivals, Manchester City. Solskjaer believes the Reds can go the rest of the season and if they want to get in the top 4, it is imperative that they do not drop points.

2. VAR controversy!

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Although Manchester United ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in the end, they had VAR to thank for a couple of decisions as Crystal Palace were denied an equaliser and a penalty. Victor Lindelof looked as though he brought down Zaha in the box, however VAR saw nothing wrong with the challenge. In the Second half, Jordan Ayew was denied an equaliser, as VAR adjudged his toe to be offside. Despite these decisions going in Man United’s favour, football fans are dying to see some consistency with technology that is bringing this beautiful game into disrepute.

3. Defence decision!

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With Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams injured, Solskjaer was without a recognised left-back going into this one, but he was expected to start out-of-favour Diego Dalot. However, the Man United boss, instead started Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who hasn’t started a game since 2017. Dalot was signed by Mourinho and has rarely starred in the league under Solskjaer. With the back four of Wan Bisaaka, Maguire, Lindelof and Williams or Shaw, Manchester United have the joint second-best defensive record in the league this season, behind just the champions, Liverpool. Dalot is now one of the players United may look to offload in the Summer as Solskjaer looks to rebuild.

4. Rashford the Red!

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In 2015 an exciting young Manchester United player broke onto the scene; would he be another over-hyped youngster, or could he really cement his place as a United star? The latter. The player was Marcus Rashford who has been one of the most talked about players in the country and the world. Rashford has had some ups and downs, especially as his various managers tried to figure out what position he would play best. But the Englishman has matured massively on and off the field, most recently he was passionately involved in his campaign that forced the government to continue their free school meal scheme; the Manchester United ace is now in line for an honorary degree from University of Manchester, the youngest person to ever do so. On the field Marcus Rashford has enjoyed his most productive season in front of goal, scoring 17 in the league, after another goal against Palace.

5. What next for United?

The Red Devils know that if they win their remaining two games, they will secure a top four finish, as they face their closest rivals, Leicester on the penultimate day of the season. This weekend they face Chelsea in the FA cup semi-final as they try and get some silverware after a very long, very strange season. Manchester United are still favourites in the Europa league when that resumes in August.

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